Remember When?

I remember when the conventional wisdom was that the Clinton campaign was so filled with experience and talent that they would run the entire race without making a mistake. I’m pretty sure I bought into that CW for a long time.

Today’s Times article on the Clinton campaign’s spending patterns shows that, in fact, they have made some mistakes. That’s not surprising, though, and perhaps it was more surprising that a narrative was built and maintained that the Clinton campaign would be flawless.

Of all the quotes and analysis in the Times piece, I think Jim Jordan, who was the Dodd campaign’s senior strategist, nails the realities of presidential politics best.

“Obviously, some campaigns are more careful and wise with their money than others,” Jim Jordan, a Democratic consultant who ran John Kerry’s presidential campaign until November 2003. “But these budgetary post-mortems tend to follow a familiar pattern; winners are by definition smart, and losers are dumb and wasteful. In truth, campaign budgeting is hard and complicated and three-dimensional and just impossible to understand without the full time-and-place context of the whole race.”

It’s easy to say mistakes were made, but mistakes are only this transparent in hindsight. I’m sure there were critics in the Clinton campaign while these decisions were being made, just as I’m sure there have been dissenters in the Obama campaign while they have charted their course.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s